by Rachel Ogbu
Alicia Keys made sure as the hostess of her charity ball she looked the most stunning in a flattering burgundy.
The 31-year-old looked every inch a star as she led the way at the city’s Apollo for her Keep A Child Alive’s Black Ball in New York on Thursday, December 6.
She posed next to her proud mother Teresa Augello on the red carpet.
Keys who raised more than $1.3 million at the event assists those affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa and India.
Thursday’s event was originally planned for November 1, but was canceled due to Superstorm Sandy.
Alicia said: ‘There are places in the world where Keep a Child Alive serves where they have a Hurricane Sandy every day.
‘They don’t have electricity, they don’t have heat… and that made me more invigorated to make sure this Black Ball happened.’
Keys honoured Oprah Winfrey at the event for the entrepreneur’s philanthropic efforts, including her school, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa, which launched in 2007.
“It’s a universal truth, Oprah makes change happen,” Keys said.
Winfrey said she was honoured to receive an award from Keys, and that it confirms she’s “moving in the right direction.”
‘You try to keep a child alive and I try to educate them as best as I can,’ Winfrey said onstage.
Before that, a video played onscreen detailing the launch of Winfrey’s school and how the mogul struggled in her early years, riding on a bus with maids from the inner city to the suburbs to attend a better high school.
‘When I look at Africans girls I see myself,’ 58-year-old Winfrey said. ;I continue to work for them to have the same opportunities that I have.’
Beninese singer Angélique Kidjo was also honored and she joined Keys onstage for some upbeat, drum-filled numbers.
Bonnie Raitt also performed, as she and Keys sang a duet version of her slow groove ‘I Just Can’t Make You Love Me.’ Keys said it was ‘one of my dreams to sing’ with Raitt.
Jennifer Hudson and Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes also hit the stage, where Whoopi Goldberg worked as the night’s emcee.
‘I read “50 Shades of Grey” so I stay away from paddles,’ Goldberg said when the auction began.
Guests included Chanel Iman, Gayle King and Everybody Loves Raymond star Doris Roberts. It was certainly a fun evening, and during the auction one man was ready to jump his bid from $100,000 to $250,000 for a trip to South Africa — if Keys would join him and his friends.
She teased him, saying : ‘I’ll go for a little more,’